Ask Lafeber


January 21, 2019

cockatiel lethargic and on cage floor

hi.our bird is now 20 years old for the last day she has been sitting in the corner of her cage on the floor and seems to have impaired balance.she is very wondering if she may be dying or is this just old age


Hi Alan,

I’m sorry your bird is not feeling well. Since this came on “suddenly” it may be something like a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Birds will hide signs of illness so once they do show symptoms, they have generally been sick for at least a few days. I would take her to an avian vet as soon as possible. It could be age related – 20 can be old for a cockatiel, but some live to be older. And generally age related slowing down is gradual. Without a vet exam, there is no way to be sure. I hope she feels better soon.

Take care,


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